3 Ways to Renew Drivers License In NY

Is your license about to expire? Then you have come to the right place for information. Everyone knows that you need to have a valid and unexpired driver’s license in order to drive a car in the State of New York.

Save yourself from the hassle and renew your NYC driver’s license on time. Know the requirements, steps, and fees to have a smoother transaction.

driver license

In this article, you will learn about the process on how to renew a license as indicated by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the State of New York.

Here’s a summary of what you need to know before renewing a driver’s license in New York State:

  • Who Can Renew a Driver’s License
  • What Happens If You Don’t Renew
  • Ways to Renew a Driver’s License
  • What Are the Renewal Fees
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Conclusion: Which Method Is Most Recommended?

Who Can Renew a Driver’s License

There are two options when you can renew your license in New York. You can either renew it as early as one year before the expiration date or as late as two years after it expires.

If you try to renew the license two years or more after its expiration, you become ineligible for renewal.

When this happens, you will have to apply for an original license again by passing the vision test, written test, and road test, as well as completing a pre-licensing course.

Renew a Drivers License


It is also important to check that your address is updated and documented with the Department of Motor Vehicles. In order to complete the renewal process, you are required to take and pass an eye test which can be taken by an authorized vision test provider.

For those who are currently 20 years old and almost 21, your license will still be categorized as UNDER 21 status if you renew it more than 40 days before turning 21.

The only way to change this status is to renew it within 40 days of turning 21. The applicants who are not eligible to renew a license are those with an expired license of more than two years, a learner permit, and a suspended or revoked license.

What Happens If You Don’t Renew

Of course, it is not allowed to drive without a valid license. It is prohibited by law and you will be fined if you get caught driving with an expired license. The fines and penalties to be charged depend on the length of expiration.

If your license is expired for 60 days or less, you are charged $25 to $40. If it has expired for more than 60 days already, the fine can be up to $300. Moreover, you will also be charged with state and local surcharges on top of the fines and penalties.

Thus, make sure to check the expiration date and update the license when needed to avoid huge penalty fees.

Ways to Renew a Driver’s License

There are three ways to renew the driver’s license: online, by mail, and by a personal visit to a DMV office. Applying online is the most convenient and fastest method, while by mail is the slowest of the three. The method of renewal depends on your requirements and services needed.

Check the details below to know which method is best for you:


The online application method can be used by those who have an Enhanced or REAL ID or just the Standard license. Simply complete the application form when you apply online.

Moreover, you need to pass an eye test either by going to a DMV-authorized vision test clinic or having a healthcare provider fill out the Vision Test Report provided by DMV.

Once you get the eye test result, it has to be included in the online application details. After completing the application, you can download and print your temporary license which is valid for two months until you acquire the actual license.

List of Requirements Summary:

  • Completed online application form
  • Completed eye test


Application by mail can be done for those with an Enhanced or REAL ID or the Standard license. You will receive a renewal notice in the mail which should be filled out if you decide to apply by mail. If there is no renewal notice, print the  Application for Permit, Driver License, or Non-Driver ID Card form from DMV and use it instead.

After completing the form, mail it to the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles along with the completed Vision Test Report done by a healthcare professional or a DMV-authorized vision test provider.

You also need to include a written check or money order paid to the “Commissioner of Motor Vehicles”. The exact mailing address is the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles, 207 Genesee Street, Suite 6 Utica, NY 13501-2874.

List of Requirements Summary:

  • Completed renewal notice form or the Application for Permit, Driver License, or Non-Driver ID Card form
  • Completed eye test
  • A written check or money order paid to the “Commissioner of Motor Vehicles”

Personal Visit to a DMV Office

For those who want to switch their Standard license to an Enhanced or REAL ID, it can only be done by going to a DMV office. DMV offices are also the only places where you can change your license picture and class.

Renew Drivers License


First, make a reservation online for your renewal appointment. You will be asked to do the following steps:

  1. Choose your preferred county.
  2. Check the ‘In-Person Services’to see if renewal services can be done at your chosen DMV office.
  3. Read the guidelines given and prepare the required documents from the DMV Document Guide. The guide will ask you to answer some questions to know the specific documents you need to bring.
  4. Once completed, you can now click the blue button “Make your reservation for an in-person service in (location)”.
  5. After clicking the reservation button, it will lead you to another page where you can select the location, service, date, and time. After completing the form, click Next.
  6. Afterward, enter your personal information and click Reserve.
  7. The last page should show your reservation confirmation with a QR code which will be scanned at an interactive touch screen display at the DMV office.

Before going to a DMV office, fill out the renewal notice you received in the mail or the Application for Permit, Driver License, or Non-Driver ID Card form.

You need to submit the completed form at a DMV office, along with your current license and money for payment. The fees can be paid using a credit card, debit card, check, or money order.

List of Requirements Summary:

  • Completed reservation appointment
  • Completed the DMV Document Guide to know the requirements
  • Completed renewal notice form or the Application for Permit, Driver License, or Non-Driver ID Card form
  • Current license and fee payment

After submitting the requirements, you will get a temporary license first since the actual license will be sent within 10 days.

What Are the Renewal Fees

The fees depend on the driver’s license class, which includes Class A, B, C, D or DJ, E, and M or MJ. Apart from the renewal fee, there is also a Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD) fee.

The MCTD fee is only for the boroughs of Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island, as well as several counties including Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester.


Commercial Driver License (CDL)

Fee: $164.50

+MCTD Fee: $180.50

CLASS D or DJ (Motorist / Operator – most common)

Fee: $64.50

+MCTD Fee:: $80.50

CLASS E (Taxi / Livery)

Fee: $112.50

+MCTD Fee: $128.50

CLASS M or MJ (Motorcycle)

Fee: $72.50

+MCTD Fee: $88.50

If you are applying for an enhanced driver’s license (EDL), there is an additional $30 charge on top of the fees. If you are applying for two combined classes, it costs an extra $8.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I renew my license if I am currently not in New York or the United States?

Yes, you can renew your license via mail or online. To renew the license by mail, submit the renewal notice or the Application for Permit, Driver License, or Non-Driver ID Card form, Vision Test Report, a check or money order, and a pre-addressed priority mail return envelope.

If you are going to renew online, you can only do so if you have a valid New York driver’s license and a recorded eye test from the past year in the DMV Vision Registry.

Can I change my license class upon renewal?

Changing of license class is only done via mail or personal visit to the DMV office and it cannot be done online. When sending your renewal application by mail, make sure to indicate in your application that you are changing your class.

If you are going to a DMV office, inform the DMV employee that you require a class change.

What type of card can I use for fee payment via the online application?

The DMV website accepts credit card and debit card payments. You can pay using Visa (with or without PIN), Mastercard (with or without pin), American Express, Discover, or Novus.

How do I submit my vision test after?

The vision test report is submitted electronically or by mail. If you take the vision test from a DMV-accredited eye test provider, you do not need to submit them since they will already submit the results for you.

However, if you asked a medical professional to complete the Vision Test Report and not a DMV-accredited eye test provider, you need to submit the report yourself.

To send the eye test result online or electronically, complete the Vision Test Report form here and click Submit. You can also submit it by mail to License Production Bureau, PO Box 2688-ESP, Albany, NY 12220-0668 and indicate Attn: Vision Registry.

What kind of healthcare professional can conduct my eye test?

If you are going to ask a healthcare professional to fill out the Vision Test Report, they should be an authorized nurse, ophthalmologist, optician, optometrist, physician, or assistant of the physician.

How can I update my address for DMV records?

Before renewing your license, it is recommended to update your current address first. Take note that you need to update your address within 10 days after moving to your new address. You can change your address details through your MyDMV account.

If you still don’t have an account, just sign up and fill out the form based on your recent New York State driver’s license. To update your address by mail, complete the Address Change form and send it to NYS DMV License Production Bureau, PO Box 2895, Albany, NY 12220-0895.

Conclusion: Which Method Is Most Recommended?

The best renewal method depends on your preference, the service to be acquired, and the requirements needed. If you want a faster and more convenient process, then online renewal is the best option. However, if you are looking to apply for a REAL ID, then you have to visit a DMV office or send the application by mail.

If you need to change your class or license picture, then you have to go to a DMV office and request for change. The best method depends on several factors, so it is best to carefully read the guidelines on the DMV website.

Do you have a question answered? Ask a question to the DMV and a customer service agent can help.

Did you find this simple guide useful and informative? Then don’t forget to share it with your friends and family.

Let us know in the comments section below if you have recently renewed your license.

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